The smiles are in. Tim Hortons restaurants in the Central Okanagan raised $29,091 from their annual Smile Cookie Campaign with 100% of the proceeds donated to the YMCA of Okanagan. The campaign, which ran for one week in September, saw thousands of Tim Hortons customers purchase a smile cookie for one dollar.
“We’re so proud of the success of our Smile Cookie Campaign,” says Chris Chapman, owner of three local restaurants. “With the gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have not’s’ widening in our community, we can’t think of a charity that makes a bigger impact on the lives of struggling kids and families in the Okanagan than the YMCA.”
Since local Tim Hortons stores began supporting the Y’s Healthy Snack Program in 2013, $156,317 has been raised to ensure that each year the hundreds of children participating in Y preschool or out of school care programs receive the nutrition they need to grow and thrive.
“It is critical that all children in our care get a daily healthy snack,” says Danielle Miranda, YMCA Senior Child Care Manager. “Many kids in our programs come to us without eating regular meals. With one in three children relying on financial assistance to participate in Y child care, those families struggle to afford nutritious food and any afterschool snacks at all.”
YMCA of Okanagan operates preschool and child care programs at seven locations across Kelowna and West Kelowna, serving more than 100,000 healthy snacks per year. Providing YMCA subsidized child care to families in need, the Y relies on donations to ensure all children can participate in their programs, regardless of income.
Photo: Tim Hortons store owners Chris & Susan Chapman with children from the Y’s Belgo Elementary After School Program.